BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) – A Bentonville mayoral candidate is calling into question the origin of a rival candidate’s campaign funds.
Mayoral candidate Stephanie Orman held a press conference at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Orchards Park in Bentonville regarding campaign contributions made to rival candidate Jim Webb.
Orman, who is a current Bentonville City Council member, said several different mailers have been sent out endorsing Webb and that the mailers state that they are paid for by the Republican State Leadership Committee, Inc.
Orman describes the Republican State Leadership Committee as a Political Action Committee (PAC).
Webb’s campaign has received $41,729 in total contributions from the Republican State Leadership Committee, according to Republican State Leadership Committee independent expenditure reports.
Orman is questioning why an out of state committee is funding a candidate in a local, nonpartisan election.
During the press conference Orman described the money from the PAC as “dark money.”
Orman said she has spent around $10,000 on her entire campaign.
Webb issued this statement to KNWA: “As a candidate, I support individuals’ First Amendment right of free speech. While I do not know the Republican State Leadership Committee, I am happy to have been identified by a group that supports Republican leaders at the state and local level.”
The Republican State Leadership Committee released a statement regarding Jim Webb’s campaign for mayor.
“Jim Webb is a rising star in the Republican Party as a reliable conservative that Bentonville can count on to hold the line on taxes, grow jobs, and address key quality of life issues like traffic and education. Any insinuation that the Republican State Leadership Committee is ‘dark money’ is grossly ill-informed, and factually wrong. The RSLC discloses every dollar raised and spent from our donor base of 160,000 donors representing all 50 states. That’s how everyone knows exactly what we are spending. RSLC and free speech are being falsely attacked as ‘dark money’ to distract attention from bad ideas, like the proposed new taxpayer-funded Bentonville government office.”